BOOKS: What's Up with the Universe

Carl Sagan surveys the news on almost everything in space

After swinging by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and shooting spectacular pictures of the planets and their moons, the U.S. spacecraft Voyager 2 had by 1990 completed its Grand Tour of the planets and was speeding out into deep space on its way to the stars. But the temptation of one last backward look was irresistible. Swinging its camera around, it took snapshots of the now distant planets as they might appear to an alien craft approaching the solar system.

And there was Earth, barely discernible against the background of stars, an image that inspired the title of The Pale Blue...

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